LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 23
the boy, tired of the grave conversation, had retired, and where he was riding triumphantly up and down on Mr. Shelby's walking-stick. She would have spoken to tell her husband her fears, but checked herself.
" No, no, he has enough to bear, poor fellow ! " she thought. " No, I won't tell him; besides, it an't true. Missis never deceives us."
"So, Eliza, my girl," said the husband, mournfully, " bear up, now; and good-by, for I 'm going."
'* Going, George ! Going where ? "
" To Canada," said he, straightening himself up; " and when I 'm there, I '11 buy you ; that's all the hope that's left us. You have a kind master, that won't refuse to sell you. I '11 buy you and the boy; God helping me, I will! "
" Oh, dreadful! if you should be taken ? "
" I won't be taken, Eliza; I '11 die first! I '11 be free, or I '11 die ! "
" You won't kill yourself ! "
" No need of that. They will kill me, fast enough; they never will get me down the river alive! "
uOh, George, for my sake, do be careful! Don't do anything wicked ; don't lay hands on yourself, or anybody else. You are tempted too much, too much ; but don't go you must but go carefully, prudently ; pray God to help you."
" Well, then, Eliza, hear my plan. Mas'r took it into his head to send me right by here, with a note to Mr. Symmes, that lives a mile past. I believe he expected I should come here to tell you what I have. It would please him if he thought it would aggravate ' Shelby's folks,' as he calls 'em. I 'm going home quite resigned, you understand, as if all was over. I 've got some preparations made, and there are those that will help me ; and, in the course of a week or so, I shall be among the missing, some day. Pray for me, Eliza; perhaps the good Lord will hear you"